(Bloomberg) -- Ukraine faces what appears to be the 11th major barrage of Russian missile strikes since early October aimed at energy infrastructure and other civilian targets. Explosions were heard in the Dniprovskiy district of Kyiv, with at least one person reported killed in the capital. Strikes were also reported in Odesa and other regions. Two dozen Shahed drones were fired on Ukraine overnight, including 15 on the Kyiv region, and all were shot down, officials said.
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The US on Wednesday joined Germany in promising to supply Ukraine with battle tanks, providing Kyiv's forces with a significant upgrade against their Russian invaders. The Kremlin warned that tanks supplied by allies to Ukraine would be destroyed on the battlefield.
Ukraine's president expressed hope that donations of other advanced weaponry, including aircraft and long-range missiles, will follow. "It is important for us to expand our cooperation in artillery, we have to achieve the supply of aircraft to Ukraine," Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly address.
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On the Ground
Russian forces are now allegedly attacking Vuhledar in the southern Donetsk region. The Institute for the Study of War says that engaging in "limited spoiling attacks across most of the frontline", including Vuhledar, Russia is probably trying to "distract Ukrainian forces and set conditions to launch a decisive offensive operation" in Luhansk region. Kremlin troops carried out 37 air strikes and 10 missile attacks over the past day, hitting civilian infrastructure in the cities of Dnipro and Zaporizhzhia among other targets, and fired 97 times from multiple rocket launchers, Ukraine's General Staff said on Facebook.
(All times CET)
Mayor Reports 'Explosion in Kyiv,' One Killed (9:30 a.m.)
Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported an "explosion in Kyiv" Thursday morning without providing more detail. Eyewitnesses reported at least one loud explosion in Ukraine's capital. Klitschko said one person was killed and two injured after a missile hit a non-residential building in the Holosiyivskyi district in Kyiv's southwest.
The Vinnytsia region in central Ukraine and Odesa on the Black Sea reported missile strikes, in the later case to what was termed critical energy infrastructure. More details are awaited.
Ukraine Wants More Slovakian Howitzers (9:28 a.m.)
Kyiv is interested in ordering another 14 Zuzana 2 howitzers from Slovakia, the Slovak defense ministry confirmed for Bloomberg in a statement.
"We are expecting the signing of the agreement, I hope that we can agree," Slovak defense minister Jaroslav Nad told Ukrainska Pravda on Wednesday.
Slovakia delivered eight Zuzana 2 howitzers to Ukraine in 2022. The new weaponry will be paid for by NATO allies Denmark, Norway, and Germany.
Drones, Missiles Downed as Governors Warn of New Attack (8 a.m.)
Ukraine shot down 24 Iranian Shahed drones overnight, including some 15 over the Kyiv region. Officials in south and central Ukraine warned early Thursday of a significant Russian missile attack launched from aircraft and ships, in what would be the 11th major wave since early October.
Some incoming missiles have already been shot down, Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to Ukraine's president, wrote on Telegram. Explosions in the Dnipropetrovsk and Kyiv regions were said to be the result of air defense.
Emergency power cuts were announced in Kyiv and the surrounding area as well as the Odesa and Dnipro regions due to the threat of an attack.
Former Japanese Leader Assails Support for Ukraine (12:40 a.m.)
Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori criticized the government's supportive stance on Ukraine, Kyodo News reported, even as the current premier, Fumio Kishida, considers a visit to Kyiv.
Mori, a veteran ruling party member known for his strong ties to Russia, expressed doubt about the degree to which Japan is throwing its weight behind Ukraine, adding Russia could not lose the war, the agency said. He was speaking at a reception in Tokyo on Wednesday evening, also attended by Kishida.
Zelenskiy Says Planes, Missiles Must Follow Tanks (9:30 p.m.)
In his nightly video address to the nation, Zelenskiy thanked Germany and US for their promises to deliver tanks to Ukraine, and expressed the hope that supplies of other kinds of advanced weaponry will follow.
"We have to unlock the supply of long-range missiles to Ukraine," he said. "It is important for us to expand our cooperation in artillery, we have to achieve the supply of aircraft to Ukraine."
Biden Says Tank Pledges Show NATO Unity (7:45 p.m.)
Biden said the delivery of US tanks will help Ukraine achieve its strategic objectives. The president, who earlier spoke with European leaders, said Ukraine's allies are maintaining their common front.
"The expectation on the part of Russia is we're going to break up, we're not going to stay united," Biden said. "But we are fully, thoroughly, totally united."
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